Introversion Announce Prison Architect

Introversion’s Chris delay sends word that their new project, Prison Architect, is a game in which you “Build and manage a maximum security prison”. Crikey! Unexpected. But then it was unexpected. That’s the first image up there, too. This is the title the pioneering indie dev are working on now that their procedural heist game, Subversion, has been put on hold.

We’ll be speaking to Chris soon to get some more details.


  1. GallonOfAlan says:

    Good old Introversion.

    Now. MG towers *here*, and *here* ….

  2. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Somewhat disappointed, but I’ll keep an open mind.

    • Smashbox says:

      For some reason, I’m really excited

    • simoroth says:

      I’m excited too. Like a early bullfrog title it sparks the imagination and unlike subversion, you can see the fun in it immediately.

      Chris is really onto something here!

    • Moni says:

      For no reason whatsoever, I am unable to formulate any kind of response.

    • IDtenT says:

      My first thought was OMG Bullfrog!

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Bullfrog… like, back when Peter Molyneux was a god? That’s, before he made that game without colors?

    • mageta says:

      year well, bullfrog with a good peter molyneux would be great. Ah well.. good old times :D

  3. Inigo says:

    Wait what

  4. The Tupper says:

    Soap trays situated above 4′ please.

  5. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Needs more dwarfs.

    • angramainyu says:

      Yes. I saw the screenshot and immediately felt the urge to fire up DF.

    • Dozer says:

      Looks a bit like a cross between Dwarf Fortress and Spacechem. The outdoor bits of Spacechem where you’re looking at all your factories at once, and trying to use a chemical laser to bring down a giant enemy crab or somesuch. In terms of artistic style. I haven’t played Spacechem since 1953, but that’s the thought that hit my mind when I saw that image.

    • Josh W says:

      I thought spacechem too, and bizzarely, monaco. Maybe it’s the blur texturing on the floors.

  6. Warth0g says:

    Sorry, did I miss something? What happened to Subversion??

    • Unaco says:

      Yes. You missed something.

      link to

    • Sp4rkR4t says:

      It got put on indefinite hold as they re-imagine the game.

    • BooleanBob says:


    • Warth0g says:

      Bloody hell. Annoying. Was looking forward to that… Tahnks for the link chaps..

    • Dozer says:

      I don’t know – I really liked the posts on the procedural city and building generation, and the procedurally-simulated automatic doors and lifts and such, but the video of the bank heist didn’t look so good. Casting “Small-talk” on yourself to prevent the security guard from asking what you’re doing in the manager’s office? That left me unimpressed. How about hacking into a server, finding the request sent to the contractor for ATM maintenance, causing the contractor to see the request as cancelled but not the bank, then forging IDs as ATM maintenance contractors and turning up at the expected time to carry out the scheduled maintenance? That sort of thing could also be done procedurally.

  7. Unaco says:

    Good old RPS, bringing us this news first. You’re like the Panopticon of PC Gaming, nothing gets past you.

    I really just wanted an excuse to say Panopticon.

    • amishmonster says:

      At last, your patient waiting for a semi-appropriate moment paid off!

    • JackShandy says:

      What will you do with your life now, Unaco?

    • Squishpoke says:

      What will he do with his life?

      He can probably wait for a time to utter ‘defenestration.’

    • Synesthesia says:

      I wanted a panopticon pun thread on this. I am very dissapointed. The doom 3 drum kit one from yesterday was fucking amazing, though.

    • RF says:

      That was a punopticon if I’ve ever seen one.

  8. Sp4rkR4t says:

    So now I’m imagining an sim-hospital/tower-defence hybrid.

    • Magnetude says:

      Theme Hospital, with periodic outbreaks of tower defence? Yes please, my interest is fully piqued.

    • Screwie says:

      Genius! I hope that’s what the game turns out to be.

    • Ghil says:

      A theme Hospital in the middle of a zombie outbreak where you must manage the hospital, and defend it?

    • Lev Astov says:

      SimTowerDefense? Yes please.

      For some reason I really love design an building games. I have more fun in tower defense games just designing the layout of my turrets than actually fending off enemies. I think Prison Architect will do nicely.

  9. Xocrates says:

    Not what I expected, but I approve.

  10. Brumisator says:

    Hmmmmmm… Now I have a quasi-irresistible urge to play theme hospital…

  11. Sinnorfin says:

    yay! This looks cool, style reminds of c64 era.

  12. applecup says:

    If nothing else, I can’t say I’ve ever come across a prison simulator before.

  13. Hexidecimal says:

    I want to play this. I want to play it right now.

  14. mojo says:

    theme prison from introversion? count me in.

  15. The Pink Ninja says:

    How they heck are introversion still in business?

    • Nathan says:

      On the other hand, that was 14 months ago; and they haven’t release anything in that period.

    • Selifator says:

      Defcon was in one of the Humble Bundle’s, that might have led people to their other games. Plus continued exposure might have swayed more people into buying their games.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Selifator: None of IV games has ever been in a humble bundle

    • iGark says:

      Defcon was in a HIB? I have all of them, but I don’t see Defcon anywhere…

    • wererogue says:

      It was in a Steam summer bundle IIRC. And they’ve done the Introversion bundle a few times since.

  16. Hillbert says:

    If this doesn’t use Scarfo’s “Prison Architect” then I shall be very disappointed.

  17. GallonOfAlan says:

    The only other game I can remember that simulates the workings of a prison, as opposed to having a prison in it, is The Great Escape on the Speccy. Have there been others ?

    • andytt66 says:

      There’s been five(!) versions of Prison Tycoon so far. Never played any of the PC versions, but the iphone version is a bit pants.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      The PC versions I’ve played were bobbins.


    • Unaco says:

      Google searching “Prison Tycoon 4”, 2nd result is the IGN PC review for the game… with a warning it might harm your computer. I’ll allow you to interpret that in whatever way you wish.

    • Sinky says:

      Escape from Colditz. Well, its more of a POW camp simulator.

  18. arienette says:

    I can’t help but think this seems a little mainstream for them. But doubtless they’ll make it enourmous fun.

    • ulix says:

      Well, if you count a market (kind of economicy-like Sim-games), where there hasn’t been a decent game (apart from Kairosoft games on iOS) for almost ten years, as mainstream, then yes, this is a bit mainstream.

      I don’t want any of that Freemium bullshit.

      I for one am very happy that they are doing this. Really, I have not played a good game of this ilk since Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (which had a completely rubbish interface).

      Now what I’d wish for:
      – Someone at EA says: !lets remake Theme Hospital as a downloadable title!!
      – Someone at Atari gives Chris Sawyer a call: “Lets make another game, you choose the theme!”
      – Someone at Kairosoft goes: “let’s make a ‘real’ PC game, five times as complex as our iOS games!”

    • ulix says:

      One can dream…

    • arienette says:

      Never played Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 but I picked up the second in a sale last weekend and after all these years still have the first on disc. Happy memories of drowning ungrateful guests.

    • IDtenT says:

      We need an OpenTTD for Theme Hospital. Also, RPS should cover Open TTD again some time.

    • Musey says:

      There is an Open TTD for Theme Hospital. It’s called Corsix TH and is in beta at the moment but is, I hear, in a very playable state.

  19. asshibbitty says:

    Wonder if they’ll avoid the more unsavory sides of it all. Ask them about it.

  20. Anthile says:

    Oz: The Game.

  21. MistaJah says:

    Sounds exciting.

  22. Moni says:

    Is it like a sequel to Subversion after all your little mens have been arrested?

  23. JuJuCam says:

    My prison will be called “The Oubliette” and every cell will be solitary confinement with staple rations. No way that could possibly go wrong.

  24. Vitamin Powered says:

    My bet is on at the point where you’ve created the perfect prison… you’re arrested and have to try and escape.

    Well, I can dream at least

  25. kwyjibo says:

    I’d rather keep a dungeon.

  26. Bweahns says:

    I day dreamed about such a game as a kid. Except mine was operating a German WWII POW camp trying to keep the crafty allies in.

  27. Om says:

    A game about managing something as mundane as prisons? How ridiculous. You all must be *weird* for wanting to play this

    • shinygerbil says:

      Introversion’s first game was essentially “see how many different points on a map you can click in a row without getting bored”, if you want to look at it that way.

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it probably won’t be all that it seems at first glance. (Especially seeing as that first glance is somewhat unlike anything Introversion have done so far.)

      I think Introversion have been burned one too many times; they know to be a little more shrewd, I’m sure, after the misstep that was Multiwinia. This sounds like less of a “risky bet” and more of an interim solution to the cashflow problem – in much the same way as Defcon was.

      Still….Nobody was expecting this

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I believe he’s mocking John’s comedy intolerance from earlier.


    • adonf says:

      Exactly! Being imprisoned is America’s favourite sport with millions of licensed players, so I fully expect RPS to make fun of this management game too.

    • Dozer says:

      America lead the world in this regard, don’t they? According to some sources, 79% of Americans are in prison at any one time.

    • adonf says:

      @Dozer Maybe if you include county jail. A friend of mine spent a night in county jail instead of paying a $300 fine. I’m sure that a lot of people who face the same choice (big fine or small time in jail) will make the same decision.

  28. Raiyan 1.0 says:


  29. mjig says:

    I’m waiting on the Auschwitz expansion.

  30. caddyB says:

    Looks like Alma Mater from GTA2

  31. Inigo says:

    An Introversion game without overly abstract visuals makes me uncomfortable and afraid.

    • Strange_guy says:


      Considering the somewhat consistent visual styles between their other games this looking pretty normal was a big surprise.

      I don’t know why but for some reason I’m getting a Gratuitous Space Battles vibe from the visuals, which is odd as I can’t find any way in which this resembles it.

    • Inigo says:

      Gratuitous Prison Shanking.

  32. elstob says:

    I hope there is a mode where I can rob a bank to get placed in a prison of my design. Thus allowing the use of that knowledge and my full body tattoo to spring myself, my wrongly convicted brother and a motley bunch of criminals from captivity!

  33. buzzmong says:

    I want more details, but the possibility of Theme Prison has tickled my fancy.

  34. povu says:

    The Heist failed, and now we get to manage all participants.

    • Inigo says:

      All your “dead” Uplink profiles are imported into the game as inmates.

  35. Bantam says:

    I’m calling it now.

    A Tetris style mini-game to cram as many prisoners into a cell as possible.

  36. Jambe says:


    link to

    Welcome to America, home to 5% of the world’s people and 25% of the world’s prisoners. Let’s build a better America together.

    Mmm, America.

  37. Zarunil says:

    If this had been announced by any other dev than Introversion, I would not have been as excited as I am.

  38. Kleppy says:

    So I take it Introversion aims really, really low with this one. I can’t imagine it sells more than a few thousand copies, at best.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Well, it’s best not to aim too high considering money and time needs. Within such limits one can still do a lot, though.

  39. Frank says:

    I like that it’s not black and blue nor black and green. Way to move on, Introversion

  40. neolith says:

    So… Sim Prison? I like the idea!

  41. Davie says:

    Well, damn, I was really eager for Subversion, but this looks like it could be good too. Maybe like a sort of reverse Dwarf Fortress, wherein you have to keep the nasties inside rather than outside. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

  42. Navagon says:

    Could be interesting. Although, like others, I was expecting something a little less literal in its interpretation of a prison. Maybe it is? We’ll see I suppose.

  43. Aedrill says:

    There should be multiplayer. One player is building the prison and another is trying to organise the escape for as many people as possible. That would be great.

  44. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Oh well.

  45. Jake says:

    A game in which you “Build and manage a maximum security prison”. That actually makes more sense than what I imagined, which was a game where you were an architect in a prison. Possible strapline: “your life was designing prisons, but now prison has designs on your life!”. A bit like Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay but you wear even trendier glasses.

  46. terry says:

    Interesting! My dismay at the Subversion announcement is quashed somewhat. I like the graphic style from what I can see of it, too.

  47. BAshment says:

    Its a prison for pirated programs i’m calling it.

  48. eryynlhanu says:

    I’d say the focus was more on gameplay than visuals. After all, people spend more time staring at sprays than the decals on their guns (lawls). Although I’m sure it’s all because they want all the people who currently play 1.6-Source to be able to hop right on in without having to upgrade their GPU.But with CS:GO I don’t think they’re trying to beat the competition with amazing graphics etc, they’re trying to make an FPS that makes a brilliant spectator sport, as well as it being a great great game to play.quang ba website